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Female Speaker

Keynote Presentations

These presentations are meant to inspire participants to see their students and children through a developmental lens. If you don't see a title that quite meets your needs please contact me so we can fine-tune a Keynote to your specifications.



Understanding and working with Challenging Students

Some students have a hard time listening, they don’t hesitate to talk back, they’re impulsive, they’re immature and they don’t want to work. In other words, they are a challenge in the school setting. We try to help them do better, but we are often frustrated with their lack of improvement.


This presentation will help to make sense of these challenging students. Using an attachment-based developmental perspective and referring to the newest brain science research, we will look at three keys to understanding children and youth: Maturation, Vulnerability and Attachment. Once we understand what makes these children tick and how some can become “stuck”, we will then look at interventions that can really make a difference.

Trauma and the Brain

This presentation will review the current research on the effects of adverse childhood experiences and trauma on the developing brain. The focus will be on understanding the learning and behavioural difficulties that are typically displayed by these children. Once we understand what these children need, we will then look at how to best intervene with them to help them to function effectively in the classroom and develop into the people they were meant to be. 

Cultivating Caring Children

We all desire caring and considerate children but there is much confusion regarding how to get there. This presentation addresses the developmental roots of these highly held virtues and the negative effects prevailing practices have on caring. This presentation will focus on how teachers and parents can best cultivate these characteristics and social responsibility as a whole. 

Why do Students say, "NO"?

When children refuse to listen to the adults who are in charge of them, they are often tempted to increase consequences in a bid to get compliance. Adults usually recognize that the ensuing “power-struggle” is not ideal, but what else can be done? This session will uncover the underlying dynamic and reveal an instinct that Dr. Gordon Neufeld has reintroduced to us, Counterwill. We will then look at ways to work with this powerful instinct in a way that is developmentally friendly, and which can lead us back into our rightful role as the adults in our children’s lives.

Understanding and Intervening in Bullying Dynamic

Once we understand the underlying dynamic of bullying behaviour, we will be in a better position to intervene. Most prevailing approaches to this problem assume that bullying is either a learned behaviour, a lack of empathy, or the result of a failure to acquire social skills. This presentation will dissect the bully syndrome to reveal its deep instinctive roots in the dynamics of attachment and vulnerability. Interventions that are more likely to be successful will then be presented and discussed.

Understanding and Working with Children and Youth in Emotional Times

Children, teens and adults alike are experiencing many emotions as this school year unfolds. This presentation will help the you to understand the key emotions that the students are living and the effect these can have on their behaviour and their learning. A variety of activities and interventions will be shared that can help you to help your students. When emotions are acknowledged and allowed to be appropriately expressed, then learning is more likely to happen. This session will also focus on the emotional experience of the adults.

Making Sense of Preschoolers

Baffling and beloved, with the capacity to go from joy to frustration in seconds, preschoolers are some of the most misunderstood people on the planet. Parents and caregivers struggle with these little ones, who are known for their extreme behaviour, from tantrums, resistance, and aggression to separation anxiety, bedtime protests, and not listening. The key to understanding these young ones lies in realizing that their challenging behaviour is not personal, nor is it a disorder or deficit. It is actually part of a wonderful plan. This workshop will present the developmental profile of these children using both the newest neuroscience and the Neufeld paradigm. Then ways will be suggested for how to most effectively manage behaviour that can be challenging, and to create an environment that enhances natural growth and development.

The Importance of Play

Why do children play and why do they need to play? We are now learning that play is more important than we ever thought both in terms of brain development and also for emotional well-being. Join us to find out about why play is so important, about different kinds of play and about how you can support your playful child.

Making Sense of Anxiety

What is anxiety really? If we strip away the symptoms, what we uncover is the emotion of alarm. First, we will look at how the alarm system is meant to work. Then, we will explore what happens when the alarm system gets overworked. Finally, we will look at interventions and practices that can help all children who come to us and need help with their anxiety.

Understanding Oppositional Children from a Developmental Perspective


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